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Media Release: SANParks Responds to Minister's Announcement on Norms & Standards for Elephant Management

Date: 2008-02-25

The Chief Executive of South African National Parks (SANParks), Dr David Mabunda, announced today that South African National Parks (SANParks) welcomes the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk's, announcement of the Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants in National Parks and other protected areas.

The Chief Executive of South African National Parks (SANParks), Dr David Mabunda, announced today that South African National Parks (SANParks) welcomes the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk's, announcement of the Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants in National Parks and other protected areas.

In February 2005 SANParks presented the Minister with a proposal for the management of elephant populations in National Parks, after much consultation with various stakeholders through The Great Elephant Indaba of 2004 and other forums. The proposal included park expansion, translocation, contraception and culling. The inclusion of culling as a management tool sparked some heated debate from mainly animal rights groupings, which has been going on since.

“The approval through the Norms and Standards for the full suite of management interventions means that SANParks will be able to draw on the most appropriate management interventions for prevailing circumstances”, said Dr Mabunda.

“We want to also make it clear that the decision to use different management tools will not be made indiscriminately. Even a decision to cull is one that is to be made prudently in line with appropriate management decisions.”

 “Considering that management objectives and circumstances vary from park to park decisions on management interventions will differ accordingly. In the extreme cases, where culling may be considered as a management option, we will be guided by the provisions of the Park Management Plans. Because there has been no culling in all national parks since 1995, the decision to go ahead with culling will take time as sufficient time and consultation is necessary to prepare for such an operation, should the need arise.”

Issued: by South African National Parks Communications

Inquiries: wanda mkutshulwa, Head of Communications, Tel: 012 426 5201, Fax: 012 343 0153, e-mail: wandam@sanparks.org

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